VIDEO: Sacha Baron Cohen fails to dupe California gun shop owner with ‘Hungarian immigrant’ disguise
A California gun store, Warrior One Guns & Ammo, was asked by Cohen’s crew to participate in a documentary about a Hungarian immigrant wanting to buy a gun in the United States. But when the “Hungarian immigrant” arrived at the store in February 2017 to shoot the segment – which likely would have been featured in Cohen’s new Showtime series “Who Is America?” – shop owner Norris Sweidan immediately recognized that something was amiss.
And while Cohen’s failed prank was never aired by Showtime, luckily for us it was recorded for perpetuity by the store’s surveillance cameras.
“[Cohen] comes in, off the bat you can see in the video I’m looking like, this guy does not look like an Hungarian immigrant. Tight leather pants, a beard, it just didn’t fit,” Sweidan told a Los Angeles Fox affiliate in an interview. “The moment his words came out of his mouth I was like, ‘this guy is full of s---.”
After a few awkward moments with the “immigrant,” Sweidan reportedly blurted out: “You’re Borat” – recognizing the comedian from his 2006 film about a “Kazakh journalist” traveling across America.
Sweidan said that once the actor realized his cover had been blown, he immediately turned and exited the store, abandoning his camera crew. After interrogating the producers about what was going on, Sweidan threw them all out of his store.
“Once I knew it was Borat, we already know his game and his bulls---. So, we knew he’s here to make a mockery, and of what? Gun owners? The gun business? Gun shops?”
The Fox affiliate reached out to Showtime about the embarrassing encounter, but the entertainment company said it had no comment.
Cohen’s new series has recycled an old formula used by the comedian: disguising himself as colourful characters in the hopes of fooling politicians, celebrities and sometimes just ordinary people into saying and doing outrageous things.
The actor has already collected an impressive list of notables that have been tricked by him while shooting his new program: Sarah Palin, Howard Dean, David Petraeus and even Dick Cheney have reportedly fallen victim to Cohen’s antics. Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, confessed to “traveling across the country” to participate in an interview with Cohen, who was disguised as a wheelchair-bound combat veteran. However, Palin claims that she caught on to the comedian’s “evil, exploitive, sick ‘humor’” and stormed out of the interview.
Cohen also appeared to trick Dick Cheney, sharing a video on his Instagram of the former US vice president agreeing to autograph a “waterboard kit.” Cheney supported the US enhanced interrogation policy when in office – a stance that he has stood by despite the method being widely considered as a form a torture.
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